Team 33 | Mart Poom talks Roy Keane, Big Mick, Kilbane, Paul McGrath and his other Irish connections

Former Sunderland and Derby County keeper faced Ireland and also had many Irish international team-mates

BY Raf Diallo 13:38 Wednesday 21 November 2018, 13:38 21 Nov 2018

Kevin Kilbane and Mart Poom with Sunderland in 2003. Picture by: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

So this week on Team 33, our guest was former Sunderland, Derby County, Arsenal and Estonia goalkeeper Mart Poom.

The ex-Estonia captain is now his national team goalkeeping coach and joined Ronan Mullen and I on the line from Tallinn to talk about his career, including the time he scored against Derby County for Sunderland in his first match back at his former club. 

Mick McCarthy was his manager at the time and it was also a few years after Poom had captained Estonia against Big Mick's Ireland in a 2002 World Cup qualifier.

That memory sparked Poom to look back on all his former Irish team-mates at club level.  

You can listen to the full interview with Michael Boyd on the podcast player or on iTunes:

"It was a great [Ireland] team of course and Roy Keane was a player I admired and still admire," Poom told us.

"His leadership qualities, his competitiveness and his aggression - positive aggression - which was how he managed to pull the team, just with his intensity.

"I remember I was captain that day in Dublin and Roy Keane was as well [for Ireland]. I knew it was going to be a tough game against him and obviously I'd played against him when he was at Man United."

Poom had left Sunderland for Arsenal before Keane took over as Black Cats manager but the former goalkeeper believes "it would have been an interesting experience".

As he explained, his career at both Derby and Sunderland saw him work with many Irishmen.

"At Sunderland, under Mick there were many Irish players. Gary Breen was my room-mate actually at Sunderland. And I remember [Kevin] Kilbane and Stephen Elliott and Colin Healy," he said.

"And from my debut, Paul McGrath. He was unbelievable. He never trained at Derby and he played against Man United on my debut. He was fantastic. Ha, what a player."

Poom also name-dropped "a few connections" of an Irish persuasion from his past like Jason McAteer at Sunderland and Rory Delap at Derby.   

Meanwhile, just hours before Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's departures from their Ireland roles, Joe Coffey, Conor Neville, Enda Coll and Jonathan Higgins had joined me to discuss our current predicament as well as the debates around soccer vs rugby in this country:

Apart from Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Arsenal Fan TV founder Robbie Lyle, recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, former Ireland striker Niall Quinn, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony CotonPackie BonnerNobby SolanoRon Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.


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